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Leeds Counsellors For Addictions | Local Drug & Alcohol Support

Our Leeds based Recovery Counsellors are specifically trained in addictions, substance misuse disorder (SUD's) and alcohol use disorders (AUD's). Our counselling team are passionate about providing authentic, self-empowering help and support to alcohol and drug users. We also deal with gambling addiction, phone addiction and any other addictive behaviours.

Mark Franklin | Addictions Practitioner| S.A.C Dip

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Mark is Start Recovery's founder and owner. Originally from a music background, Mark spent the late 80's, 90's and 00's as a DJ, producer and artist. 

"I was burnt out by the early 2000s and by 2010 it had become clear that I needed help. I had already lost my job as a Music Buyer due to being drunk and disorderly at an important industry event. I still managed to function in a new role managing products, distribution and retail at a large American corporate company based in Pinewood Studios. It should have been a dream job for me but I was starting to get in trouble there from my drinking too. 


Redundancy then sent me into a spiral of drinking, then a Re-hab for a month, then I was back drinking again a few months after that. I found that I was stuck in that cycle for a couple of years - trying to stop, starting again, with my self-esteem, anxiety and general mental health getting worse and worse.


I finally managed to get sober after a 3-month program which was at a drug and alcohol charity in Fulham. It was part of a forward-thinking pilot scheme that unfortunately never got rolled out. (I was soon to learn the good and the bad politics of the third sector charity industry)! It was here that I developed a real passion for learning and an understanding of addictions and addictive tendancies.


I went on to volunteer at the charity in Ealing where I joined the DIP team (Drug Intervention Program) and enrolled at college to study drug and alcohol counselling. I moved back to Leeds with my family where I continued to work for drug and alcohol services in Yorkshire and I continued to study and  I spent time working in a Re-hab and on a detox ward. I also worked on psychiatric wards, mainly with drug-induced psychosis patients, and in secure units for male prisoners with severe mental health problems. In 2015 I set up Start Recovery and in 2020 Start Recovery won an award for best Counselling Services in Leeds and West Yorkshire. 

I would say most of my work is integretive. I utilise REBT, mindfulness, breathwork and deliver the latest neuroscientific evidence-based information to the client. I continue to learn and experiment bringing different approaches into my work. I use polyvagal techniques and exercises to help bring clients to a safe, sustained, self-regulated place and I try to pass on helpful tools to my clients and colleagues that are necessary to build sustained recovery. 

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